A DREAM job in the bush, complete with a dream bloke...

HAVING A GO: Alyssa Halford said she and Rob hope to one day restore the homestead and shearer’s quarters so others can enjoy the historic Pikedale Station.
HAVING A GO: Alyssa Halford said she and Rob hope to one day restore the homestead and shearer’s quarters so others can enjoy the historic Pikedale Station. Emma Boughen

AFTER landing her dream job and dream man all in one go, Alyssa Halford said inspiring other young women to take up a career in agriculture was her next mission.

Two years ago, the then 18-year-old Alyssa, born and bred in Stanthorpe, landed a job as a rouseabout at the iconic Pikedale Station, fell in love with the owner Rob Allen and started her adventure on the 171 year old property.

These days Alyssa rouseabouts during shearing time but spends most of her days working with Rob on the day-to-day running of Pikedale.


You learn pretty quick it's not all farmers wants a wife...

Growing up, Alyssa's family ran a small hobby farm and the closest she came to working with sheep was through a family friend, who would often bottle feed lambs.

Coming from that, to a 3439ha property with 6800 head of sheep has definitely been a big jump.

"You learn pretty quick it's not all farmer wants a wife, and cleaning this massive house (South Pikedale) is a full-time job in itself but the independence and the lifestyle with all this space and clean air to myself, I've just absolutely loved everything about it," she said.

"It's everything I've always done, just on a much bigger scale - you've just got to keep those floors clean or the shearers get really cranky."

While most would find this new life intimidating, Alyssa said her motto was to always have a go.

With that in mind the 20 year old has set about treating everything new that's been thrown her way these past few years as an interesting experience.

"To live on a farm has always been my dream and now I've finally got the opportunity to do it," she said.

And with a swag of exciting experiences under her worn RM Williams belt, Alyssa is making it her goal to get more girls involved in the live

stock industry.

Around the Stanthorpe area, she said, it could be difficult for young girls to find a career path if they didn't want to head away to university or become a hairdresser.

"Not many girls are interested in agriculture and the few that are have to go out west to find a job," she said.

"I always did ag at school and loved it but actually starting work on a real commercial property makes you realise how little you know.

"At school you watch a documentary, or muck around with 30 head.

"But I want to give these kids the real experience.

"We want them to really get their hands dirty."

To get things rolling, she and Rob have approached Stanthorpe State High School to form a partnership which would bring students out to the station to experience first hand the everyday operations of a real commercial farm.

"We have a girl coming out at the end of June to gain some crutching experience," she said.

"The school agriculture department is planning to do a whole semester on sheep and, as part of that, students will visit here regularly."

Not stopping there though, in keeping with her have a go motto, Alyssa said she would also like to one day try her hand at bookkeeping for an agribusiness.

She also is keen to do her wool classer's course.

Though loving every minute of her new life, Alyssa said the change had not been without its challenges.

"I've had to learn to harden up," she said.

"At first, I found the social aspect of living out of town really hard.

"But in the end, it's been good to have my own space. It is so lovely."

As the reigning Stanthorpe Ring Rodeo Queen runner-up, Alyssa said she and Rob would one day like to combine her love of horses and the historic station to restore some of the old buildings for stays and trails rides so others can experience Pikedale Station.

Topics:  agricultural farmer wants a wife rural women